December 11, 2023

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Noteworthy Issues: Skrull Kill Krew #1 (September, 1995)

Humans who ate some bad beef have a problem with Skrulls.

You know, if I am going to do a Misplaced Characters column on the Skrull Kill Krew, the least I can do is actually read and review at least one issue of that mini-series.

Issue:  Skrull Kill Krew #1, September 1995

Writers:  Grant Morrison and Mark Millar

Artist:  Steve Yeowell

The Plot:  Skrulls have infiltrated all levels of human society, so the Skrull Kill Krew is going to, well, kill them all.

Commentary:  Well, this is something.  It reminds me a little of Morrison’s The Invisibles where a group of renegades are battling the hidden forces within human society that don’t have anything good in mind for everyone else.  I actually didn’t much care for the two Invisibles trades I read.  I honestly preferred it whenever Morrison wrote a one-off for a related character rather than anything involving the main group.  But that’s just me.  I know a lot of people really dug the hell out of The Invisibles.  The point is, this first issue has that sort of “the world isn’t what it looks like, so we need to hit back at the bad guys controlling everything as hard as we can” vibe.  I know enough about The Invisibles to know the protagonists later actually felt bad about the violence they dished out and it was a source of genuine torment.  Will the Skrull Kill Krew go that route?

Well, this is a Marvel book from the 90s, when antiheroes ruled, and Mark Millar is a co-writer.  Morrison’s work can have a sweet spot to it, and while Millar can write good, sentimental work without a touch of nastiness to it…he isn’t exactly known for that.  The point is, I suspect watching the Kill Krew run around killing Skrulls will be about the main point of this series.

That is, more or less, how this mini-series opened.  There’s what looks like a high school history class going on when Kill Krew members Ryder and Moonstomp burst in and shoot up the teacher.  It turned out she was a Skrull in disguise.  They do the same to the one student who doesn’t flip out over this revelation because he, too, was a Skrull.  And then they leave because apparently, no one will stop these two, even if Moonstomp seems to be enjoying what he does a bit too much.  The rest of the issue has the pair go off to recruit surfer dude Rob “Dice” Fortune who didn’t know his girlfriend was a Skrull, and then off to find teenager Heidi “Riot” Sladkin at a big city mall where there are a lot Skrulls only she can see, one of whom is posing as one of her two best friends.  Heidi’s reaction is big enough to attract the attention of every Skrull in the neighborhood, leading to a massive fight between the Kill Krew showing up just in time, the Skrulls, and Heidi in her new monster form.

That is, basically, the entire plot.  Dice isn’t too sure about killing all these Skrulls, and the book doesn’t even say much about what the Skrulls are even up to.  Are they still working to subvert and conquer humanity?  Well, putting random Skrulls everywhere seems to be an odd way to do that.  Dice and Heidi are nothing special in the grand scheme of things.  Did the Skrulls know these two would develop Skrull-based powers after eating Skrulls that thought they were cows?

Yes, that is how the Krew developed powers.  Don’t try to think about it too much.

I know from the Misplaced Character column that there’s still one more member to recruit, but there just plain isn’t much here.  Moonstomp occasionally takes a minotaur form for, like, one panel before reverting back to his human form, and he’s hinting pretty strongly that he’s a proud racist that only gets off on violence.  Dice isn’t sure about anything.  Ryder is the exposition guy.  Heidi is, well, scared but taking it a bit better than Dice.  And the Skrulls are, well, there.  The artwork is fine if nothing overly special, to the point where it reminds me of the sort of art that often when with Morrison’s Vertigo work.  Then again, Yeowell drew a bunch of Invisibles issues, so I think I have come full circle.  Will I read more of this one?  Maybe one more to see where they’re going with this, but for now, there isn’t much to go on beyond the idea that the Kill Krew are, I dunno, cool punks or something.

Grade:  C